Items tagged with FCC

Although the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are the most highly anticipated smartphones coming from Google this year, the company also promised to deliver a new mid-range smartphone for consumers. After a rumor claimed that the Pixel 5a was canceled for this year, Google quickly made the surprise decision to confirm months in advance that it was working to deliver the smartphone later this year for the United States and Japan. Today, we're learning the Pixel 5a has made a critical stop on its way to the U.S. market: it visited the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Three models in total -- G1F8F, GR0M2, and G4S1M -- appeared at the FCC, all of which feature sub-6GHz 5G bands. However, given that... Read more...
Some families have struggled to afford internet services during the pandemic due to highs price and a waning jobs market. As such, the FCC introduced the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to help these families with a discount of up to $50 a month toward broadband service. However, companies only need to offer one plan to comply with the program, and Verizon is accused of trying to game the system. Earlier in May, Ars Technica reported that Verizon required people who wanted the $50 government subsidy to switch their internet plan, which sometimes became more expensive. The company claimed that the EBB could not be used on some old or grandfathered data plans, so they would need to switch.... Read more...
The largest internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States defrauded the public by engaging in a secret campaign to derail net neutrality rules, New York Attorney General Letitia James stated in a series of Twitter posts. This secretive campaign resulted in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) receiving millions of bogus comments to a proposal to repeal net neutrality regulations that existed at the time, a multi-year investigation has determined. A series of net neutrality regulations were put into place during the Obama administration, but were later rolled back during the Trump administration, during which time former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai was chairman of the FCC. Pai spearheaded... Read more...
Since the first launch in 2019, the Starlink satellite network has steadily been growing. Once it had enough satellites in Earth orbit, SpaceX introduced the beta program, which has grown immensely as well. Now, in an FCC filing to become a telecommunications carrier, Elon Musk’s company disclosed that it has 10,000 users in the United States and abroad, marking a significant stepping stone in going big with Starlink. The filing explains that “Starlink’s performance is not theoretical or experimental,” as it has “successfully demonstrated it can surpass the Commission’s 'Above Baseline' and 'Low Latency' performance tiers.” This means that the service... Read more...
Ajit Pai, Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who made numerous headlines over the past few years for his crusade against net neutrality regulations, announced he is departing the agency in January when President-Elect Joe Biden enters the administration. His departure leaves open the possibility that net neutrality rules imposed under the Obama administration could potentially return, though nothing is certain. Before getting into government work, Pai was a lawyer for Verizon, from 2001 to 2003. President Obama appointed him as Commissioner in 2012, then in 2017 President Trump designated him Chairman as the agency. He promptly proposed repealing existing (at the time)... Read more...
We have been saying for weeks now that Microsoft's Surface Duo launch is imminent, and we stand by that prediction. Adding to our confidence that it will be launching relatively soon, the dual-screen Android device recently made a cameo on the Federal Communications Commission's database, with nearly a dozen listings. Most of the certifications were submitted in the first half of June, though a couple of them were submitted earlier this month. All 11 listings, however, were made available to view publicly on July 22 (this past Wednesday). Receiving clearance by the FCC is one of the final steps preceding a launch, which is expected to take place this holiday. One of the documents lists the Surface... Read more...
At this point, we've almost given up hope on the Pixel 4a. It's been over a year since Google launched the very well-received Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL mid-range smartphones, and the successor is nowhere to be found. That's not to say that we haven't seen leaked images, specs, and even retail box shots for the Pixel 4a, but what's taking Google so long to actually release the phone? Well, we now know that the Pixel 4a has gained its FCC certification, as three FCC IDs passed through the regulatory agency's testing labs. Those model numbers included the G025J, G025M, and G025N; with the first reportedly being reserved for U.S. devices. Making an appearance at the FCC is usually one of the very... Read more...
The FCC is pushing for a record fine against a telemarketer that made approximately 1 billion spoofed robocalls in less than five months to consumers in the United States. Many of the Americans who received the spoofed robocalls were on the national Do Not Call List. The FCC has proposed a record $225 million fine against the Texas-based health insurance telemarketer representing the most substantial proposed fine in the FCC's 86-year history. The fine would be levied against John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears, who operated their spoofed telemarketing campaign under business names, including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom. Rising Eagle made approximately 1 billion spoofed robocalls across... Read more...
Microsoft fans who have been waiting in anticipation for the Surface Earbuds to launch will be glad to hear that they have finally turned up at the FCC. Approval from the FCC is typically one of the last things that the manufacturer does before it launches the product, so presumably, the Surface Earbuds are right around the corner. The FCC listing shows that the Surface Earbuds landed there for testing in January. What we know from the FCC listing is each earbud measures 25mm x 25mm x 19.9mm, and those are the only details being offered up at this time. We do know some of what Microsoft has promised in the past, including up to 24 hours of battery life. The earbuds are also supposed to feature... Read more...
Microsoft has been reportedly working on some new Surface hardware that will be arriving soon, including a new Surface Dock 2, Surface Book 3, and Surface Go 2. A couple of interesting reports have come to light with one indicating a listing believed to be for the Surface Go 2 that has turned up at the FCC. While there's no official mention of the Surface Go 2 in the FCC filings, it does mention a "portable computing device" and shows model number 1927. The FCC listings also show a codename of "EV2," which was a name previously used by the Surface Go and Surface Go 2 devices on Geekbench, where alleged benchmarks have turned up. The FCC information shows that the machine is running Windows 10... Read more...
The FCC has issued a mandate that all phone companies must support, which will help to fight spoofed robocalls. The FCC adopted new rules on March 31, 2020 that require the implementation of caller ID authentication using technical standards known as STIR/SHAKEN. The FCC says the new rules will further its efforts to protect consumers against malicious caller ID spoofing. Caller ID spoofing is a method used by robocall scam campaigns to trick users into answering their phones. STIR/SHAKEN allows the phone company to verify that caller ID information transmitted with the call matches the caller phone number. According to the FCC, widespread deployment of this new protocol will reduce the effectiveness... Read more...
The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been investigating the sale of users’ location data by wireless carriers for several years. This investigation now appears to be coming to a close. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently informed Congress that at least one wireless carrier has violated federal law and illegally sold users’ location data. Pai did not name specific companies or disclose which laws had been violated. His letter stated that, “Accordingly, in the coming days, I intend to circulate to my fellow Commissioners for their consideration one or more Notice(s) of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in connection with the apparent violation(s).” The... Read more...
A new report is making the rounds that originated with The Chicago Tribune. The publication took several smartphones, including multiple iPhone models, and tested them to see how much radiofrequency radiation the devices emit. The testing alleges that some iPhones are emitting radiation that is exceeding federal safety limits. The publication used an accredited lab to test the smartphones per federal guidelines. In the testing, the iPhones were under a clear liquid meant to simulate human tissue, and probes measured the radiofrequency radiation. While testing found that several iPhone models were producing radiofrequency radiation over legal limits, the worst performer was the iPhone 7. The testing... Read more...
Nintendo hit a home run with its hybrid Switch console, despite it not rocking the same class of hardware as Son's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One consoles. As companies are prone to do, Nintendo is offering different variants. There is a new Switch Lite console, and a revised version of the original Switch, both of which are internally exposed in a couple of FCC listings. These listings are teardowns of sorts, in the sense that we get to see some of the innards. These listings primarily focus on the wireless hardware, but we also get a glimpse of part of the PCB and several components. There are also shots of the undercarriage, with the bottom panel removed. Here's a look at the inside... Read more...
When we last reported on NVIDIA's SHIELD TV, a revised version of the 4K media steamer leaked via Google Play carrying the codename mdarcy. Although not much was revealed about what this new SHIELD TV would offer, it was determined that it would at least receive a revised version of the NVIDIA Tegra X1 SoC. Today, a new NVIDIA streamer has shown up at the FCC carrying the following designation: NVIDIA Corporation SHIELD Android TV Game Console P3430. The current SHIELD TV uses the Tegra X1 A2 SoC, while this refreshed model is said to use the Tegra X1 T210 B01. We have no way of knowing what kind of core/frequency changes are going on under the hood with this latest B01 revision, but... Read more...
The FCC is frequently the first place where we get a glimpse at real life images of a smartphone before it launches. The devices have to go through the FCC to get the approvals they need to be sold in the U.S., and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is no exception. The Note 10+ has landed at the FCC, and the agency was kind enough to snap pictures and share them with the world. The images confirm the design that we have seen in renderings and via leaked smartphone case renderings. The FCC images show the triple camera array on the rear. Also noted on the back is an offset camera thought to be a depth sensor. There is another sensor under what is believed to be the depth sensor. One thing worth pointing... Read more...
Nintendo recently unveiled the long-rumored Nintendo Switch Lite game console. Rumors have also swirled that Nintendo was working on an updated original Switch game console and new FCC filings have surfaced that seem to confirm that update. The FCC filing shows that the Switch is getting a new SoC and a change in NAND memory type. The form that Nintendo submitted to the FCC is called a "Class II Permission Change." That is a form that asks for permission to change components of the game console without having to submit the entire console for recertification. The filing doesn't shed any light on which SoC and what sort of memory change Nintendo has planned for the Switch. Certainly what Nintendo... Read more...
The FCC is a good source of early information on new devices that land there for their certifications. Normally when we see something pass through the FCC, there is a pretty good indication of what it is. That's not always the case, and a product that just passed through is a perfect example. All we know is that this new Google device uses Bluetooth and has a companion app. The product is called G022A and is classified as a "wireless device" by the FCC. Scuttlebutt suggests that the G0xxx convention implies this is a Made by Google device; for instance, the newly launched Pixel 3a is G020A. The FCC ID label notes that the FCC ID and model number are displayed electronically indicating the device... Read more...
AT&T is the second largest wireless carrier in the United States with millions of customers under its umbrella. But the company is now coming under fire for its decision to sell location data pertaining to its wireless customers. While AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all said they stopped selling phone location information to other companies, AT&T has announced that it wasn't illegal for it to sell the data. AT&T is claiming it did nothing wrong, just as the FCC has started an investigation into the practice. The telecom giant has argues that its sale of assisted GPS or A-GPS data that is used with 911 location services doesn't violate U.S. law. The reason... Read more...
High-speed internet and robust infrastructure is often the life blood of growing communities looking to attract high tech business and satisfy citizens. In most cases, however, residents and businesses only have access to one, or at the most two, broadband internet providers. You'll usually have access to broadband cable as one option and DSL as the other. So, municipal internet -- where cities and towns build out and run their own broadband service -- is an obvious solution. BroadbandNow, which is a company that keeps tabs on broadband availability across the United States, has published a rather sobering study on the state of municipal broadband. Sadly, the company has discovered... Read more...
Sprint and T-Mobile announced a little over a year ago that they would be merging into one company. However, the United States Department of Justice has a few things to say about this union before the companies can ride off into the sunset. The Department of Justice has reportedly told Sprint and T-Mobile that the government will not allow the deal to be completed as it currently stands. Last spring, Sprint and T-Mobile announced that they would merge together to provide the best 5G network possible. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure noted, “Going from 4G to 5G is like going from black and white to color TV...It’s a seismic shift-- one that only the combined company can unlock nationwide... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission would have us believe that everything is hunky-dory in the land of broadband, that speeds and availability are improving at a steady clip in the United States, and that 'only' around 25 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet. Microsoft is calling BS on the data, though, saying the mapping data the FCC relies on for its annual broadband reports is "inaccurate." "The government’s most current broadband statistics come from the FCC and suggest 25 million Americans lack access to a broadband connection. There’s strong evidence, though, that the percentage of Americans without broadband access is much higher than the figures reported... Read more...
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